Steve Swenson has been climbing for 46 years. With nearly 20 expeditions to mountains in South Asia, Steve has made ascents of the North Ridge of K2 and the North Ridge of Everest solo - both without supplementary oxygen. In 2012 he and his partners made the first ascent of Sasser Kangri II (7518 meters) – the second highest unclimbed mountain in the world for which they were awarded the prestigious Piolet d' Or. He is a past president of the American Alpine Club and lives with his wife, Ann Dalton in Seattle and has two grown sons, Lars and Jed. Before recently retiring, he worked as a consultant for 35 years to municipalities and counties on engineering, design, project management, utility finance, and policy making projects related to water and sanitation. He has written articles for Climbing, Rock and Ice, and Alpinist magazines as well as the American Alpine Journal. He also contributed to a recent publication of Rock, Paper, Fire - The Best of Mountain and Wilderness Writing.
Like many people, Steve learned to climb in the outdoors. With the advent of climbing gyms, he found new indoor training grounds to improve strength and technique. But today, he can be found in the alpine, at the crag, and in the gym. For traditional climbing organizations climbing gyms are a game changer, and more and more young people are learning to climb indoors first and then transitioning those skills to outdoor climbing. Learn about the changing face of the new climber to begin the discussion about how to attract young gym climbers to The Mountaineers and help get them outside safely.